Family Culture, Boundaries and More with Jodi Chaffee (Episode 174)
Every family has a culture...whether by design, or by default. I have a special guest with me this week who is an expert in talking about family culture, creating healthy boundaries, and navigating our families with love, grace, and intention. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and sit down for a minute - this whole interview is jam-packed with amazing goodness!
About Jodi Chaffee
Jodi Chaffee is the founder of Our Modern Heritage Academy LLC where she empowers families to live more intentionally, cultivate their vision and values, and prepare their children to grow into their life's purpose and mission.
You can listen to her every week on The Family Culture Movement podcast. Jodi is a seasoned podcaster, homeschool mom, and family culture expert. She obtained a degree in health promotion and lifespan development, and loves all things parenting, health, entrepreneurship, and homeschooling. She started studying personal development and business culture and looked for ways to apply it to her family. This resulted in a powerful framework for hacking successful cultures and applying it to families who want to redefine their family culture, live with intention, and question the status quo.
Jodi loves singing, podcasting, marketing strategies, and reading. She and her family live in rural Michigan.
Was your family culture created by design or default?
Here is the full video interview:
highlight Notes from the interview:
The goal of creating a culture of design is that your children grow up because of what you've created, not in spite of.
Help your children learn how to be a part of something bigger - having a part of your values and the culture you create.
Work toward the things you want rather than avoid the things you fear.
We know "business culture" and the politics and drama involved...and these frameworks also work with family. Recognize that no matter what social culture you are in, when two people come together you are blending two different family cultures to create your own one. You can be intentional about that...or let it happen and hope you can navigate your reaction.
Work will come and go. But your family is the legacy that lasts for a whole lifetime. Get intentional about creating the culture you all thrive in.
Think of family culture like a road trip. You're all in the car together. At some point, the question will be asked, "where are we going?" and "how are we going to get there?"
Then we tend to follow the superhighway, or what our parents said, and we go with the flow of others, flipping a coin at each intersection, not really knowing where you're going to end up. Even if you start with a destination in mind, you can get lost if you don't know how to get there. So when you add in things like a family vision, guidelines for what is okay and not okay, times to connect and recharge, those things are like the roadmap and fuel for your trip.
Where are you coming from? What are your values? What have you learned from your past? What stories have you written based on the culture you grew up in?
Pay attention to if you're "cutting off the ends of the roast" - what is your why for doing something?
Especially this year, instead of COVID being your limitation, what can you create out of this? What NEW traditions or ideas can you bring to the holidays?
If you are enjoying some aspects of what is going on, you don't have to drop it and go back to "normal." There isn't a normal of the past - create a new one! You get to make the choice on what you want to keep, and what you want to let go.
Every vehicle needs maintenance - you need to refuel, change tires, etc. It's not enough to just coast - so you need to take charge - do you take a leadership role and drive the car on your road trip?
Fuel is trust. You need a driver, you need trust, and you need a paper map...these are your constructive coping strategies. To honor your needs - to recover, self-care, grieve, channel energy to something productive, etc. You need to go back to these things in your toolkit to recharge.
Beware of false boundaries. A false boundary would be sending your family an article about being vegan (as a hint) vs. just voicing food preferences. A true boundary would be laying out the parameters. You set a boundary, and let go of the responsibility of owning their response.
Framing a boundary doesn't have to be an ultimatum. It's not "do this or else", it's simply sharing what your personal limits/boundaries are.
Find a common ground - look for something that would work for everyone. Maybe everyone likes a few of these vegetables, or maybe there is a fun game everyone will agree on vs. a TV show you don't want.
Make it clear that this isn't a judgement; it's simply a boundary set for your family. Instead of shutting people out, you can invite them to join in on what your family does enjoy/stand for.
Be proactive and practice with your children, so they know how to navigate when a boundary is being crossed. Are they equipped with what they would say? How they may redirect to something more positive? Do they know of a common ground to connect with others on?
When there is potential conflict, look for a neutral ground...literally. Level the playing field so you aren't going into each other's turf, and where you are in control of when you are able to leave as well.
Simon Sinek talks about finite and infinite players. A finite player knows what to do as long as it's spelled out. They keep the rules and strategy. An infinite player, however, knows what to do when all those rules and guidelines have gone away. Look for solutions when you don't always know the rules and standards.
Be so solid in your non-negotiables so you don't have to think about that and really enjoy the people you're with. When you can set those boundaries, you can have a more free conversation with love, because we already navigated the "what-if" scenarios to not have to make those decisions again and again. Make the decision once on what you'll do, and then don't get lost in constantly questioning yourself.
Think of the boy with the kite. Where are you grounded? What do you hold as truth for your family? What do you believe in? Do you have a foundation for your family so you aren't guessing constantly?
Recognize your humanity. Safeguard your heart and your values by not putting yourself in situations where you may fall.
We oftentimes know what we DON'T want sooner than we recognize what we DO want.
When you build trust and set boundaries...you have to avoid labels and judgement of others. We have a natural tendency to label and judge to validate ourselves, yet it can become a "pride cycle" where you lack trust and transparency. When you come into a situation with judgement, it shows, and it's felt.
If you want others to respect your choices, you have got to give them the same honor and respect.
It's enough to write your own story - don't try to speculate and narrate everyone else's.
Jodi recommended two books, The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict and Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box. Don't put people in a box - you dehumanize them and justify your behavior toward them. Jodi shares a story about the new parents sleeping and the baby crying in the other room. We start creating stories and spinning explanations and justifications for how things are the way they are (sometimes missing the real problem that needs to be addressed).
If you're a person, you deserve love, respect and compassion. Can you get on board with that?
We may have a default trait or tendency, or culture we come from...but we all get to choose how we move forward, and we get to be intentional with this.
Some additional resources for you
- Understanding Personality styles and culture at home - MY Guest Interview on Jodi Chaffee's podcast!
- TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM (EPISODE 57)
- 5 Tips for Difficult Conversations You Want to Avoid (Episode 82)
- When Routines Are Off And Expectations Are High (Episode 83)
- Here Come The Holidays…and the Relationship Drama (Episode 27)
- Bonus Parents, Step Parents, and Blended Families
- 6 Tips on Navigating Criticism (Episode 146)
- What Are Your Non-Negotiables In Your Family? (Episode 73)
- Who Owns Your Boat? On Anger and the Law of Attraction (Episode 142)
- Letting Go Of The Agenda…and Managing Expectations (Episode 148)
- Namaste – On Truly Hearing Each Other (Episode 149)
- 5 Tips for Bringing in the New Year For The Story You Want To Create
- To Give...Is To Receive!
- We Got CRAFTY for Christmas (Episode 84)
- Unhurried Spaciousness: Five Steps for Your New Year (Episode 85)
- Minimalist Family, Clutter Loving Friends (Episode 60)
- Can your soul breathe? Engage the senses (Episode 20)
- Clutter Is Simply A Postponed Decision (Episode 19)
- Tasks: Tips to Move Past Overwhelm and Make It Flow
- Gift Ideas for Every Personality Style (Episode 80)
- The Burden of Overwhelm – Moving Forward While Always Feeling Behind
- 5 Tips To Focus For Frazzled Families (Episode 160)
- The Steps For Emotional Resilience (Episode 150)
- On Boundaries – Your Children Are Not The Center Of The Universe
- Toy Overload! And What To Do About It (Episode 109)
Your Weekly Challenge:
Think about what culture is in your home right now - did you plan it, or have you just fallen into it? Are you clear on what is truly important to your family, and what your non-negotiables are?
Keep in mind those judgements of others, and offer them the same respect you want yourself. Plan now for how the holidays are going to look in your home, and remember that this of all years is a beautiful opportunity to create something different with your family.
We can create the home where everyone thrives by starting with knowing ourselves, and getting very intentional about how we interact with others. Clearly communicating, setting clear boundaries, and leading with love can save you so much heartache - it takes so much decision-making off your plate because you've already thought out what your reaction will be and what boundaries you've drawn. And in knowing that, you can really focus on how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.